AMS Safety Awards Recipients for 2013
Tuesday, September 03, 2013

American Maritime Safety, Inc. (AMS) announced that the Houston Pilots Association, Maersk Line, Limited, Un-Cruise Adventures and The Vane Brothers Company would be the recipients of the 2013 AMS Safety Awards.

AMS is a nonprofit maritime trade association, which facilitates the maritime industry's compliance with international shipping protocols and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulations. The AMS consortium is comprised of more than 400 vessel owners and operators. It is the leading maritime industry association specializing in regulatory compliance in the United States.

Every year, the AMS Safety Advisory Committee presents member companies with Safety Awards in recognition of their dedication to preserving the marine environment and promoting safe vessel navigation, operations and maritime work practices. These Safety Awards are designed to recognize vessel operators for their proactive efforts toward achieving safe and responsible vessel practices.

The Houston Pilots Association will receive the Safe Navigation and Operation Award, which recognizes the implementation of safe working practices for vessel personnel that serve to promote the safe navigation and operation of vessels calling at U.S. ports.

"The Houston Pilots are honored to have been selected as the recipient of the AMS 2013 Safe Navigation and Operations Award," said Captain John J. Plunkett, Port Agent for the Houston Pilots Association. "The men and women who compose the Houston Pilots have worked hard every day since the Association's founding in 1921 to honor the public trust vested in them by the Governor of Texas to safeguard the Port of Houston and to act in the best interests of the citizens of Harris County with regards to safety. In a typical year, Houston Pilots safely conduct over 20,800 deep draft vessel movements along the 52 mile length of the narrow and challenging Houston Ship Channel. Houston Pilots have safely and securely accomplished this daunting task through a combination of determined leadership within the port safety community, standardized work procedures, an unfailing commitment to training, and the use and advocacy of state-of-the-art navigation safety technology."

Maersk Line Ltd. will receive the American Maritime Safety Award, which recognizes the implementation of a drug and alcohol awareness program for crewmembers that perform safety sensitive functions on vessels calling at U.S. ports.

In 1983, Maersk Line, Limited won its first government contract to convert and operate five military prepositioning ships. Since then, it has managed and operated over 100 vessels of varying types and sizes. With the largest U.S. flag fleet in international commercial service, it employs approximately 1,200 U.S. mariners daily and works with all the major U.S. maritime unions.

"As the largest employer of American mariners, we are honored to be recognized by American Maritime Safety for our implementation of a drug and alcohol awareness program for our crew members," said Dennis Houghton, Director of Marine Personnel at Maersk Line, Limited. "Our crew members perform safety sensitive functions on vessels calling U.S. ports, and it is essential that we ensure compliance with important international shipping protocols and U.S. Coast Guard regulations."

Un-Cruise Adventures will receive the Passenger Vessel Safety Award, which recognizes the implementation of best-practice systems and programs that contribute to the overall safety of passengers and crewmembers.

"We are proud to be recognized by American Maritime Safety," said Captain Dan Blanchard, principal and CEO at Un-Cruise Adventures. "Safety is an integral part of our company's culture and our executives, operations personnel, vessel masters and crew work together to ensure safe operations and mitigate risks. Our Safety Management System is the cornerstone, though ever evolving, as we strive for continued improvement."

The Vane Brothers Company will receive the Tug and Barge Safety Award, which recognizes the implementation of outstanding compliance programs that serve to enhance crewmember efficiency and the safe operation of tug and barge vessels in U.S. coastal waters.

"The key elements of our safety program are training, certification and continuing investment in reliable equipment," said Robert Roosevelt, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager at The Vane Brothers Company. "The Safety Management Team routinely conducts in-service training and on-shore refresher programs.

Vane Brothers is committed to the highest safety standards in the industry. In order to ensure the protection of our staff, equipment and the environment, Vane supports and complies with the International Safety Management System, American Waterways Operators Responsible Carrier Program, Operations Excellence Management System, U.S. Coast Guard Streamlined Inspection Program and maintains current Documents of Compliance issued by the American Bureau of Shipping. These programs ensure that our vessels are maintained in an inspection condition at all times.

Our crews attend courses detailing new navigation techniques, fire fighting, and dangerous cargo handling. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard staff, customers, and independent auditing agencies routinely certify our personnel and equipment.

We also mandate the use of personal protection equipment, and demand strict adherence to all operating guidelines and regulations. Accident and incident prevention is paramount. As part of the Vane Brothers Safety Management System, custom developed technology both integrates and builds upon the ISM, AWO-RCP and OEMS models. By coordinating our training, operations, and technology programs, Vane has significantly enhanced its Safety Management System at every level."

Representatives from the four organizations listed above will accept the Safety Awards on behalf of their organizations during AMS' Annual Membership Luncheon on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at the Yale University Club in New York City.

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